The Data Quality Paradox
Jennifer Millard
By Jennifer Millard

Does the plight of this Data Manager sound familiar?

My name is Mike; I’m a Data Quality Manager and here is my problem…

Our company was recently brought to task by one of our regulators for failing to report accurate customer data. As a result, I’ve been asked to establish Data Quality governance policies and processes for Line-Of-Business (LOB) Data and work with my LOB owners and IT colleagues to implement them. Although my role is sponsored by these business owners I’m not convinced that Data Quality is high on their agendas.

I believe that in order to help the business owners measure the effectiveness of my Data Quality measures and ensure they remain active partners; I need an integrated Data Quality tool to demonstrate where the quality is and, more importantly, the impact of where it is not.

So how can I build a business case for a Data Quality Tool without a Data Quality Tool to prove that there are Data Quality issues to begin with…?

In light of Mike's Data Quality concerns 3 things have struck a chord with me over this year (2013)...

  • Ginni Rometty – CEO of IBM - conveyed in her speech earlier this year that "Data is indeed the basis of competition in the 'smarter' era. And Big Data is indeed the next natural resource – promising to do for our era what steam, electricity and oil did for the Industrial Age"
  • Businesses are aware that data has measurable value that is integral to achieving strategic objectives. This value can increase or decrease depending on how effectively this asset is managed over time. However too few are seeking to quantify the intrinsic and/or commercial value of their enterprise data.
  • Data Managers and Stewards struggle to capture the imagination of Business Sponsors about investment into the right data quality tools.

I'm guessing there's a disconnect here...? I've read many articles that say that data is the life-blood of a company but yet we continue to witness data managers struggle to make the case for line-of-business area sponsors to invest and develop a greater interest in the quality of their data.

It couldn't be simpler: low quality = low value = commercial risk

Information Steward - Financial Impact Analysis

AgilityWorks has been working with an array of clients in the Data Quality domain particularly with MDM, MDG and Information Steward. With regards to Information Steward, we have been learning about the new 'Financial Impact Analysis' functionality that has been introduced to 4.2 under SAP’s Ramp-Up programme.

Information Steward enables organisations to monitor, analyse, and improve the integrity of their data leveraging a powerful combination of data profiling and metadata management functions. Business users are given continuous insight into the quality of their enterprise information – for enhanced operational, analytical, and governance initiatives.

We believe Financial Impact Analysis has the potential to be a valuable feature to help Data Management leaders, Stewards and sponsors monitor and covey the value of their data. Through business cases, ROI reports that can testify and underwrite the importance of Data Quality and Information Governance

AgilityWorks look forward in seeing this function incorporated into the day-to-day governance and maintenance process for the Data Quality rules considered to have a financial impact. This will enable Data Managers develop continual financial insights on their data and ensure the subject of Data Quality remains relevant to their business.

We also offer organisations an opportunity to pilot SAP BusinessObjects Information Steward. This service delivers a fixed scope project designed to get organisations up and running for a fixed price.

You may also be interested in attending the SAP EIM Special Interest Group on the 2nd of October 2013

Jennifer Millard
By Jennifer Millard

Jennifer is AgilityWorks' resident Growth Hacker, working tirelessly with each business unit to bring you the latest and greatest technology and software innovations on the market. In her free time Jennifer is a keen cyclist, although she seems to spend more time falling off the bike than riding it.

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